Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Rewards of nursing can attract Emiratis

UAE hospitals need more Emirati nurses who have the education and skills needed, as well as the passion to help others.

Every patient would agree that good nurses make any hospital stay more bearable, to say nothing of producing better results. Nurses are integral members of a health care team; typically they spend more time with patients than doctors do. They observe, assess, record symptoms and reactions, and can add a soothing element of human contact in a trying situation.

But there is a nationwide shortage of Emirati nurses. Only 3 per cent of the 23,000 to 25,000 nurses across the UAE are nationals, according to new statistics revealed at the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress on Sunday. The Emirates Nursing Association’s figures also show that only eight per cent of fully qualified and registered nurses, or just 294 out of a total of 3,561 nurses, are Emiratis. Foreign nurses do good work, but many Emirati patients would benefit from having local caregivers in hospitals.

So it is good news that the Al Jalila Foundation has announced a Dh3 million scholarship programme for Emiratis to specialise in medical studies, including nursing. But this is just one among several efforts in recent years to attract Emiratis into the health care sector, and in general these efforts have yet to show notable results.

As The National reported yesterday, officials are calling for more efforts to address the issue, and especially to encourage more Emiratis to join the nursing workforce. They say that old-fashioned views and misconceptions about the profession may have contributed in pushing Emiratis away from the profession, despite the high demand.

The issue is not exclusive to the UAE. Many countries around the world are facing the same dilemma. Nursing is a challenging profession that requires willingness to take on various roles and responsibilities, and demands resilience in the constantly changing environment of the health care system. Nurses need to keep learning, throughout their careers, as technologies, medications, and best practices keep evolving.

One effective technique in recruiting would be to make clear that nursing can be a tremendously rewarding career for people who enjoy helping others. As Noora Abdul Majid Abubaker, a nursing educator at Dubai Hospital, told the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress, she enjoys the feeling she gets from her patients, which she described as “wonderful”.

The best nurses have a passion for their work and compassion for their patients. Explaining that better could help attract more candidates.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Supporters of unseen India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate and Chief Minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, wave as he arrives to file his election nomination papers in Varanasi. Sanjay Kanojia / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world April 24

The National View's photo editors pick the best of the day from around the world

 Sarah Geronimo. Courtesy: FLASH Entertainment

Sarah Geronimo brings her star power to Abu Dhabi this weekend

Ahead of her Abu Dhabi concert on Thursday night, we take a look at the Filipina singer Sarah Geronimo’s extraordinary career.

 Visitors look at the medieval inventor Al Jazari’s water-powered Elephant Clock. The clock is on show at the 1001 Inventions exhibition at Sharjah Expo Centre. Photos Antonie Robertson / The National

1001 Inventions: in praise of Islam’s gifts to the world

Down the centuries, from camera obscura to designing a sail that allowed early seafarers to tack into the wind, Muslim scientists have made many significant contributions to science. Rym Ghazal and Asmaa Al Hameli visit an exhibition in Sharjah that celebrates those contributions

 Mumbai Indians fans cheer they team on the opening match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Earn cash back with the IPL cricket in the UAE

Dunia finance promotion allows cricket lovers to earn up to 6 per cent unlimited cash back on any spending they make on a day when an IPL match is played in the UAE.

 Iranian workers at the Iran Khodro auto plant in Tehran on March 18. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

Iran’s love of cars survives devastating sanctions

Sanctions and energy subsidy reductions might have hurt the Iranian automotive industry. But car makers at one factory are still optimistic, Yeganeh Salehi reports from Tehran

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

Disney confirms that Star Wars: Episode 7 is filming in Abu Dhabi desert

Disney yesterday confirmed that the filming of Star Wars: Episode 7 is taking place in the desert in Abu Dhabi.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National